The blue screen of death.
It is something you never want to see on a computer monitor. And yet, last night, there she was. Icily staring back at me from the laptop screen.
The kids had been innocently playing on PBSKids.org. I was reading in the other room when I started hearing funny noises (from the computer, not the kids). I went in and saw, "Physical Memory Dump Beginning, 10%, 20%, 30%...Physical Memory Dump Completed."
You can only imagine the funny noises that started emerging from my mouth.
I put the kids to bed (it was bed time, not punishment) as visions of countless hours of repair danced through my head. Phone calls, emails, ....what had I lost? Oh my goodness - that file that was open! I forgot to save it!
And so on.
When I went in to kiss my son goodnight, he asked me to lay with him. I kept thinking of the screen and whether I should attempt to press F9 or F11 and if praying might appease the laptop gods or maybe I should off a sacrifical DVD......when my son took my ear. (That's his thing.)
And I was that ear and nothing else.
I felt the soft bristles of his close-cut hair on my cheek and heard his sniffly breathing as he tried to sneak his thumb into his mouth. I let myself just sink into his well-worn mattress.
How deceptively easy this is to do. How hard it seems, no matter how much we intellectually crave it, to be with the fleeting beauty of the now.
Even now, I wonder if you are reading this with a thought train chugging in the background, "so what happened to the laptop? were the computer gods satisfied with the sacrifice?".
I almost lost so much that was irretrievable last night. It came without warning and would have passed without alarms. Yet, years from now, when I started wanting it...it would be gone forever.
I'm sure you will be relieved to know - last night, I was able to save everything I needed.
(p.s. ok, so while I want to leave on such a beautiful note, I know I'll get a few emails asking about the laptop. 'cause I have caring friends like that. I love that about you.
The laptop was recovered. And the kids will not be using it again.)